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Sorcerer

William Friedkin spends a lot of time in his 2013 memoir discussing why Sorcerer didn't click with critics and audiences even though he believes it to be better than his previous film, The Exorcist. Now that Warner Home Video has reissued Sorcerer on Blu-ray, we can see what Friedkin's fuss is all about.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broadchurch: The Complete First Season

Welcome to the coastal resort of Broadchurch, population … oh, who can keep track, what will all the corpses? Yes, Broadchurch is yet another British television procedural involving the search for a murderer in a quaint little town, just like the limited series The Fall and Top of the Lake.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Essentially part five in the ridiculously profitable horror franchise, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones continues the found-footage conceit of the other films. The difference is instead of the scares taking place in rich white suburbia, they do so in a junky apartment complex on a largely Latino side of Oxnard, Calif.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

No Holds Barred

RLJ Entertainment's new Blu-ray for No Holds Barred begins with what seems like dozens of trailers for movies starring pro wrestlers from the WWE talent pool. Each flick went direct to home video, but once upon a time — aka 1989 — one had to go to the multiplex to catch such a spectacle.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Science Fiction · Summer Wars
Science Fiction
 

Summer Wars


Had me a blast. Not even the anime-adverse are immune to the charms of ‘Summer Wars,’ a Japanese adventure with crossover appeal.

Rod Lott March 16th, 2011

Summer Wars
7:30 p.m. Thursday, 5:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday
Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch
OKCMOA.com, 236-3100
$8, $6 seniors

This weekend, Oklahoma City of Museum of Art’s Noble Theater is all about the anime, screening two 2009 hits from Japan.

One of them, “Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance,” is your standard, incomprehensible chunk of clanketyclank-clank fighting.

The other, “Summer Wars,” is a welcome respite from that. It still delivers plenty of action, but also heart, humor and a genuine story to which viewers can relate.

It revolves around 11th grader Kenji Koiso, who possesses great intelligence, but little in the way of social interaction, partly stemming from not having a family. He lives much of life online, in an avatar-led portal called OZ, where much of Japan chats, shops, plays and carries out any number of activities after assuming anthropomorphic identities.

But while Kenji spends the summer at the home of cute classmate Natsuki, pretending to be her fiancé for the benefit of her extended family, a ghost gets into the machine — Love Machine, to be exact. A virus bearing that ironic moniker wreaks havoc in OZ, from corrupting e-mail access to rearranging traffic patterns on city streets, basically shutting down worlds both virtual and real.

Kenji is wrongly — well, mostly — blamed as being the hacker behind the malicious attack, so he works to restore order while clearing his name and, therefore, regain his standing of honor in the eyes of Natsuki’s relatives, because while their relationship is merely pretend, he’d rather it be tangible.

And that’s only about half of the film, which, just shy of two hours, certainly qualifies as an epic. For a majority of that time, director/ co-writer Mamoru Hosoda (“The Girl Who Leapt Through Time”) justifies the length, even if the death of one character results in his story exiting the freeway for a scenic turnout that temporarily slows things down.

Most of “Summer Wars” is traditionally animated, but the sequences set in anything-goes OZ are where the film accelerates a more technological sheen. Here, characters jump, glide and defy gravity via their avatars. These scenes burst with imagination, dazzle with vibrant colors, and charm with a bubbly score.

While illustrating the dark side of the Internet and social networking, this is an all-around cheerful story — a mainstream fantasy constructed with mass appeal in mind: smart enough for adults, shiny enough for kids.

 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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